Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 16:04 UK

Scrubbing up: Your comments

Since the loss of donor anonymity in 2006, there has been an on-going debate about the lack of sperm donors.

Amanda Tozer is a fertility consultant who started her own collection system to combat the problem.

She says it is vital that a proper co-ordinated system is brought in across the UK.

Here are some of the comments you have been sending in to this week's Scrubbing Up.


When the anonymity was removed everyone with half a brain knew that the number of donors would drop, but as usual the government didn't listen.

I thought that donating sperm was to be an easy thing to do.......not so here in England! There are a couple of sites that have you put your details on their data base and then CHARGE you for reading messages from perspective recipients! Where is the fairness in that? Do they charge you for donating blood? Do they send you a bill when you wish to donate your kidneys after your death? I have been lucky to be able to father three children within relationships and two children that are the result of private donations. I was happy to remain anonymous or not, depending on how the child may feel later. I will not hide myself from them in later years. Why is it so difficult for me to donate properly?
John H, Bristol

I thought about donating but am very glad I didn't in the end as I now realise that playing at being god (or Dr Frankenstein) is not the correct path for society to be "progressing" down.

If you are unable to conceive, try adopting instead and save the NHS precious resources for more important things; remember £6.5b and rising!
J Davy, Cambridge

I have been a private sperm donor for the last three years, making contact with people through internet sites, and would like to praise the BBC for highlighting this issue. Legally it is a grey area, lots of time and emotions are spent helping people to conceive but it's well worth it.
John, West Midlands

I don't want any more children. However, I would like to donate sperm to help another couple. Unfortunately, since anonymity is not ensured I will not be donating. It is too much of a risk for my family.

If automatic anonymity was brought back - or at least the option to remain anonymous was introduced - this problem would cease to exist. There wasn't a problem prior to 2006.

The last thing a donor wants is for someone to turn up and say, "hello Daddy" 20 years after they donated their sperm.
Mike Smith, Leeds

I think sperm-bank levels would rapidly rise if donors were permitted to be financially compensated.
Aleks, Edinburgh

When we discovered we would need a sperm donor, I did a lot of research, and initially we were going to go abroad, probably to Denmark. Costs were relatively low and the information about donors was comprehensive, as were the lists from which to choose. We are lucky that we only need IUI, rather than IVF, as I seem to "work" normally.

When I first began researching, British clinics were actively discouraging women from travelling overseas for gamete donors. One year later, some clinics are actually organising trips abroad for their patients (for a premium, I might add!) instead of treating them with UK sperm, because there just isn't any.

In the end, we went with a private clinic in Kent, who have been fantastic. Although we didn't have to wait, they were able to offer us two donors. We are happy with our choice but I'm very aware that we were lucky.

This donor shortage is a very real problem for couples like us, and I'm sure many are being forced to explore the other, perhaps more under-the-radar, options. If the government wants to regulate sperm donation, they really have to provide the means for the service to be viable. I'm not sure the "hub" idea would work, but something has to change.
Mrs Day, London

I hate to sound like an old cynic, but the world is getting increasingly over populated and there are millions of children orphaned who would just love to have someone love them back. I think money should be spent on helping these children find loving homes, not adding more children into the world with sperm donation centres.
Stuart Roome, London

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